Case Study: Connecticut Open Data Portal

  • Population: 3,500,000+
  • Client Since: 2014
  • Solutions Used: Tyler Open Data and Enterprise Data Platforms, powered by Socrata

Connecticut’s Open Data Portal, which launched in 2014, serves as a unified data platform for the state’s agencies. Guided by the state’s approach to data stewardship, use, and access, the portal provides a wide range of information to the state’s 3.5 million residents. More than 700 datasets span the gamut from building permits and crime incidents to city fiscal indicators and state licenses.

The Open Data Portal supports the state’s goal to connect the people and processes involved with data, analysis, and decision-making.


COVID-19 took the U.S. by storm in early 2020. When cases began appearing in Connecticut, a nervous public created a massive demand for information. By the end of March, the state’s public health department responded by publishing COVID-19 statistics in a daily report that was shared as a PDF document.

Leaders quickly learned a static PDF document was not enough. With schools and non-essential businesses ordered closed, officials desperately needed an online system to provide current data in user-friendly formats for the public, the media, and local decision makers.


State officials turned to the Connecticut Open Data Portal, enabled by Tyler Technologies’ Data Platform. Publicly available datasets, API’s, dashboards, and visualizations supplied users with self-service access to the information they craved.

In addition, Tyler’s cloud-based solution, powered by Socrata, gave the state a secure, centralized platform for COVID-19 data collection, analysis, and reporting, which in turn facilitated interagency collaboration through data-sharing.


Connecticut pivoted quickly to replace the static reports. The Office of Policy and Management — which manages the Open Data Portal — began collaborating with the Department of Public Health to publish the COVID-19 data from the PDF reports as datasets on the Open Data Portal. Together they created an online resource page with datasets on COVID-19 at the state, county, and town levels. As the public consumed the data, traffic to the portal increased eight to 10 times over prepandemic levels.

There was such a demand for data about the pandemic. The open data portal has become like a hub for bringing together all the different data resources relating to COVID, centralizing them in one place.

Pauline Zaldonis

Connecticut Open Data Coordinator

The benefits of a central platform for sharing and collaboration became clear. In 2020 the state evolved its use of the Open Data Portal to create robust internal data-sharing promoting cross-agency collaboration. During the lead up to the new school year, the Connecticut State Department of Education collaborated with the Department of Public Health to develop health data metrics for reopening schools. These metrics, called the School Learning Model Indicators, would supply guidance to local school districts on whether to reopen schools in the fall in-person, remotely, or using a hybrid model.

The following indicators — based initially on seven-day averages but eventually more stable 14-day averages — gave local leaders, schools, parents, and Connecticut’s 500,000 students up-to-date information needed to understand the school reopening risks in their community.

  1. Number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people
  2. Percent of test positivity
  3. Number of new COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 people
  4. COVID-like and flu-like syndromic surveillance

To make the data more accessible to lay people, state officials used the storytelling feature of the Tyler Enterprise Data Platform to present contextual narratives and data visualizations. With data in hand, local school districts had confidence in the school learning model decisions they were making.

data platform


Moving data to the cloud presents opportunities beyond improved information sharing and decision making. With a cloud-based data solution, state agencies save money by not having to build out more hosting infrastructure. They minimize the burden of maintenance and security placed on IT staff and they benefit from the latest advancements in technology.


Government, the media, and the public have changed how they consume data in and out of times of crisis. The pandemic highlighted the need for state agencies to collaborate in new ways and to continuously work for the improvement of data projects.

Connecticut serves as a model for how to use open data for the public good. With an open data platform in place, agency leaders had the capability to share data internally and to create outside-of-the-box solutions that connected data from public health to schools. As a result, Connecticut students were able to continue receiving instruction in ways that protected the community’s well-being.

Case Study Highlights

  • Data portal traffic increased eight to 10 times during the pandemic
  • Data steered decisions on school reopening plans
  • Guided school districts serving 500,000+ students

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